Steps for an effective negotiation: Closing the meeting
How do I close the meeting?
The final step in the accommodation negotiation process is to close the meeting. Closing the Meeting contains three steps:
- Action plan/Make summary statement
- Make statement of appreciation
- Say goodbye
Step One: Action plan/Make summary statement
Your summary statement will spell out:
- What are the specific next steps?
- Who will do them?
- When will these steps happen?
- Where will these steps happen?
- How will the steps happen?
- “Okay, I will find a student in the class who is willing to reach the chemical bottles on the top shelf and lift them for me, and you will give me a list of the chemicals I need for him to make sure they are the right ones. We will get together with this classmate before the first lab session and make sure we are all on the same page. Is this your understanding?”
- “So, the actions we will take are that you will send the readings for the whole semester to the Disability Support Office right away, and they will scan them into a reader for me and e-mail them to me at least a week before I have to read them for the class. Then I will be sure and read my assignments and will let you know and the Support Office know if there are any problems with the scanning. Do I have that right?”
- “I will contact Mr. Jones at the Housing Department about getting the broken ramp fixed that leads to my dorm today, and I will tell him you gave me his name and number. Then if the ramp isn’t fixed by next week, I will let you know. Right?”
- “As I understand it, you have agreed that I can have extended time for tests in a distraction-free place if the Disability Support Office can provide that space and the supervision. You will send your exam schedule to the Support Office so that they can reserve a testing room for me on the right days this semester, and then you will send the tests to them the day before each test. I will go there to take the tests and they will send you the completed test forms after I have finished. Is that how you understand it?”
Summarizing the meeting/action planning is important because:
- It serves as a double-check that both you and the staff member are on the same page. You don’t want there to be any misunderstanding about what happened during the meeting and what the next steps will be.
- The summary statement makes everything clear about who is going to do what, and when. You may not need to get everything ‘in writing,” but by summarizing the meeting, you let the staff member know you understand what happened at the meeting and what is going to happen next.
Step Two: Make statement of appreciation
The next step for closing the meeting is to make a statement of appreciation to the staff person. This is a statement showing appreciation to the staff member for their time and assistance in making a request.
- “I really appreciate your time”
- “Thank you so much for your help”
- “Your assistance will really help me with my accommodation request.”
Making a statement of appreciation is important for several reasons:
- No matter what happened in the meeting, it is always good to end with a positive note.
- Being courteous and showing your appreciation to the staff member will let him or her know that you value their opinion, time, and suggestions.
- Showing your appreciation may also make the staff member more likely to help you again in the future.
Step Three (Final Step): Say Goodbye
The last step in the negotiation process is making a final closing statement, or an announcement at the end of the interaction that indicates the meeting is over.
- “Have a good week, Goodbye.”
- “I’ll see you next week. Goodbye.”
- “Thanks for meeting with me, I’ll see you soon.”
Saying goodbye is important because:
- It shows that you understand the importance of being polite and exhibit the social skills needed to interact with higher education staff members.